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Standard Auto Insurance Vs. Motorcycle Insurance: How Are They Different?

Motorcycle on the highway

Nearly everything about riding a motorcycle is different from driving a car, including insurance. Auto insurance and motorcycle insurance serve the same basic purpose, and the claims processes are nearly identical. However, there are some important differences between the two types of coverage.

Motorcycle Insurance Is More Expensive

Although motorcycles usually cost significantly less than cars, insuring a motorcycle costs more. The reason for this is that motorcyclists have a higher risk of accidents and, therefore, a higher likelihood of filing a claim. Motorcycles are smaller, less visible, less stable, and provide far less protection than four-wheeled passenger vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that, per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a crash. Although they represent only 3% of the registered motor vehicle fleet, motorcyclists account for 14% of all traffic fatalities.

Basic Motorcycle Insurance Policies Do Not Cover Passengers

Cars are passenger vehicles, most of which have at least four seats. When they issue an auto insurance policy, providers assume you will be carrying passengers and include them in your general coverage. This is not true of motorcycle insurance policies. Insurance companies do not consider motorcycles to be a means of transportation for more than one person. If you ride a motorcycle, you will need to purchase additional insurance to cover anyone who rides with you. Options include guest passenger liability insurance and medical coverage.

Laid Up Insurance Is Available For Motorcycles

Car insurance is not adjustable depending on the season, as cars are driven year round. Motorcycles, on the other hand, may not be ridden during the colder months and may be stored for the winter. Many insurance companies offer laid up insurance al lower rates in order to cover your motorcycle against fire, theft, and other risks during winter storage. However, if you take your bike out during a “laid up” period, you will not be covered if you crash.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Is More Important For Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle and are much more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to suffer serious injuries in a crash. Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is available for both motorists and motorcyclists, but it is far more important for motorcyclists due to the higher risk of injury.

Different Add-Ons Are Available For Motorcyclists

In addition to the standard add-ons that are available to motorists, such as roadside assistance, motorcycle riders have unique coverage options. Motorcycle insurance add-ons include coverage for transport trailers, as well as custom equipment and accessories such as saddlebags and chrome.

Get Help From Our Friendly Agent

Do not make the mistake of thinking that auto insurance and motorcycle insurance are the same. Although they are similar in several ways, there are important differences you need to be aware of. Our knowledgeable agent can help ensure you have all the motorcycle insurance coverage you need at the best available rates.